By taking control of P3, which does a large amount of blue-chip corporation communications work as well as broadcast jobs, the group will now be extending its reach in the corporate post-production market.
Fourteen staff from P3 and all its equipment moved to Arena Digital earlier this week. Two P3 staff and one employee from Arena Digital were made redundant. Former P3 joint managing director Martin Price said that all P3's editors have been retained. The new company will employ 27 people.
P3 had gone through a series of overhead cuts over the past two years with staff shrinking from more than 35 to just 16. Price said that the company had got to a point where it could not make any further cuts without affecting operations: 'We were stuck in an unfortunate position, we couldn't slim it any further and continue to function as a company.'
Price and P3 joint managing director Paul Hutchings turned their backs on seeking investment after a financing company pulled out of negotiations last year. Price said: 'We were looking for an investor to underpin P3 but it's turned out in a different way. TV Set had space here at Newman Street so it made sense for it to buy P3 and bring it in-house.'
Television Set group managing director Terry Bettles said that the move wasn't a snap decision: 'We'd been looking at facilities for a number of months. We've had a brief rest in acquisitions since taking the building in 2001 but always intended to fill it with in-house services.' Arena Digital has recently posted Trouble at the Top and BBC1's Brassed off Britain.
Price and Hutchings will work within Arena P3 as head of post-production and head of operations respectively and will jointly run the company but neither will have a financial interest in it.
Meanwhile, bookings manager Soraya Robertson moves from Arena Digital to London Post to assume the position of head of post-production.